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Guillaume Martinent and Claude Ferrand

The purpose of this study was to explore the directional interpretation process of discrete emotions experienced by table tennis players during competitive matches by adopting a naturalistic qualitative video-assisted approach. Thirty self-confrontation interviews were conducted with 11 national table tennis players (2 or 3 matches per participants). Nine discrete emotions were identified through the inductive analyses of the participants' transcriptions: anger, anxiety, discouragement, disappointment, disgust, joy, serenity, relief, and hope. Inductive analyses revealed the emergence of 4 categories and 13 themes among the 9 discrete emotions: positive direction (increased concentration, increased motivation, increased confidence, positive sensations, and adaptive behaviors), negative direction (decreased concentration, decreased motivation, too confident, decreased confidence, negative sensations, and maladaptive behaviors), neutral direction (take more risk and take less risk), and no perceived influence on own performance. Results are discussed in terms of current research on directional interpretation and emotions in sport.

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Jim Taylor

The present article addresses some of the critical issues that are involved in the development of a successful career in applied sport psychology by offering a three-phase model of career direction, development, and opportunities. In particular, educational direction and training, supplemental experience, and sport, exercise, or health involvement are considered. Specific concerns related to these areas are discussed relative to the enhancement of career development and opportunities.

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Martin Eubank, Dave Collins and Nick Smith

In the presence of anxiety, threatening stimuli are allocated greater processing priority by high-trait-anxious individuals (Mathews, 1993). As anxiety direction (Jones, 1995) might best account for individual differences, this investigation aimed to establish whether or not such processing priority is a function of anxiety interpretation. Anxiety facilitators and debilitators performed a modified Stroop test (Stroop, 1935) by reacting to neutral, positive, and negative word types in neutral, positive, and negative mood conditions. A significant 3-way interaction, F(4,80) = 3.95, p < .05, was evident, with facilitators exhibiting a processing bias toward positive words in positive mood conditions. The data support the contention that anxiety interpretation is an important distinguishing variable in accounting for processing bias and support the potential contribution of cognitive restructuring practices to athletic performance.

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Bruce D. Hale and Adam Whitehouse

This study attempted to manipulate an athlete’s facilitative or debilitative appraisal (direction; Jones, 1995) of competitive anxiety through imagery-based interventions in order to study the effects on subsequent anxiety intensity (heart rate and CSAI-2) and direction (CSAI-2D; Jones & Swain, 1992). In a within-subjects’ design, 24 experienced soccer players were relaxed via progressive relaxation audiotape and then randomly underwent an imagery-based video- and audiotaped manipulation of their appraisal of taking a hypothetical gamewinning penalty kick under either a “pressure” or “challenge” appraisal emphasis. There was no significant effect for heart rate. A repeated measures MANOVA for CSAI-2 and CSAI-2D scores revealed that for both intensity and direction scores the challenge condition produced less cognitive anxiety, less somatic anxiety, and more self-confidence (all p < .001) than the pressure situation. This finding suggests that a challenge appraisal manipulation taught by applied sport psychologists might benefit athletes’ performance.

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Nikos Ntoumanis and Stuart J.H. Biddle

The purpose of the present study was to examine how coping strategies in sport relate to differences in levels of anxiety intensity and to the interpretation of these levels as being facilitative or debilitative to performance. British university athletes were asked to recall a recent stressful situation in their sport, the coping strategies they used, and the intensity and direction of their anxiety symptoms. Results showed that perceptions of facilitative cognitive anxiety were related to the use of problem-focused coping. High levels of cognitive anxiety intensity were related to emotion-focused coping and avoidance coping. With regard to somatic anxiety, there was a significant interaction between the intensity and direction dimensions in that similar high levels of anxiety intensity were related to different coping strategies, depending on whether somatic anxiety was perceived to be facilitative or debilitative. From a practical point of view, the results show that athletes with positive perceptions of their anxiety level are able to use effective coping strategies. Lastly, suggestions are offered for further exploration of the nature of the interrelationship between coping strategies and anxiety.

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Pamela J. Hoyes Beehler

Hand laterality research efforts have shown a performance advantage in terms of pointing accuracy and limb speed (movement time—MVT) for the preferred hand (right-hand), and a slight reaction time (RT) performance advantage for the non-preferred hand (left-hand) for rapid manual aiming movements (Flowers, 1975; Roy, 1983; Roy & Elliott, 1986). These performance advantages for the right and left-hands, respectively, are considered an enigma in the motor behavior literature (Magill, 1993) and were investigated. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of skill level, hand laterality, and movement direction during visuomotor processing of female athletes performing manual aiming tasks. Results showed that skill level and hand laterality did not influence the initiation of manual aiming movements; but, left direction movements were initiated faster than right direction movements. Right-hand MVT was faster than left-hand MVT; but, main effects skill level and movement direction were not significant for MVT. Skill level did interact with hand laterality and movement direction for MVT. Also, right-hand right direction movements were the easiest manual aiming tasks to complete while left-hand right direction movements were the most difficult manual aiming tasks to complete. Differences in hemispheric visuomotor processing when performing manual aiming movements based on skill level and hand laterality were discussed. Training implications for manual aiming movements were also discussed.

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Sanna M. Nordin and Jennifer Cumming

The effects of imagery direction on self-efficacy and performance in a dart throwing task were examined. Two imagery types were investigated: skill-based cognitive specific (CS) and confidence-based motivational general-mastery (MG-M). Seventy-five novice dart throwers were randomly allocated to one of three conditions: (a) facilitative imagery, (b) debilitative imagery, or (c) control. After 2 imagery interventions, the debilitative imagery group rated their self-efficacy significantly lower than the facilitative group and performed significantly worse than either the facilitative group or the control group. Efficacy ratings remained constant across trials for the facilitative group, but decreased significantly for both the control group and the debilitative group. Performance remained constant for the facilitative and the control groups but decreased significantly for the debilitative group. Similar to Short et al. (2002), our results indicate that both CS and MG-M imagery can affect self-efficacy and performance.

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Tara Edwards and Lew Hardy

This study examines intensity and direction of competitive state anxiety symptoms, and the interactive influence of anxiety subcomponents upon netball performance. Netball players (N = 45) completed the modified Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) and a retrospective performance measure over a season, utilizing an intraindividual design. The modified CSAI-2 includes a direction scale assessing the facilitative or debilitative interpretation of the original intensity symptoms. Although the facilitative influence of anxiety upon performance did not emerge directly through the direction scale, a significant interaction emerged from the two-factor Cognitive Anxiety × Physiological Arousal quadrant analyses, suggesting that anxiety may enhance performance, as proposed by catastrophe model predictions. Findings also highlighted the importance of self-confidence for possible inclusion in higher order catastrophe models.

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Tara Edwards and Lew Hardy

This study examines intensity and direction of competitive state anxiety symptoms, and the interactive influence of anxiety subcomponents upon netball performance. Netball players (N = 45) completed the modified Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) and a retrospective performance measure over a season, utilizing an intraindividual design. The modified CSAI-2 includes a direction scale assessing the facilitative or debilitative interpretation of the original intensity symptoms. Although the facilitative influence of anxiety upon performance did not emerge directly through the direction scale, a significant interaction emerged from the two-factor Cognitive Anxiety × Physiological Arousal quadrant analyses, suggesting that anxiety may enhance performance, as proposed by catastrophe model predictions. Findings also highlighted the importance of self-confidence for possible inclusion in higher order catastrophe models.

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Sandra E. Short, Jared M. Bruggeman, Scott G. Engel, Tracy L. Marback, Lori J. Wang, Anders Willadsen and Martin W. Short

This experiment examined the interaction between two imagery functions (Cognitive Specific, CS; and Motivation - General Mastery, MG-M) and two imagery directions (facilitative, debilitative) on self-efficacy and performance in golf putting. Eighty-three participants were randomly assigned to one of 7 conditions: (a) CS + facilitative imagery, (b) CS + debilitative imagery, (c) MG-M + facilitative imagery, (d) MG-M + debilitative imagery, (e) CS imagery only, (f) MG-M imagery only, (g) no imagery (stretching) control group. A 3 (imagery direction) X 3 (imagery function) X 2 (gender) ANCOVA with pretest scores used as the covariate was used. Results showed a main effect for performance; means were higher for the facilitative group compared to the debilitative group. For self-efficacy, there was a significant imagery direction by imagery function by gender interaction. These findings suggest imagery direction and imagery function can affect self-efficacy and performance and that males and females respond differently to imagery interventions.